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08 July 2014

Show me the Bouza

Pistachios and mastic. Synonymous with the Arab world where we try to stuff everything we can with some form of nut, rose water and sugar. About a year ago, I watched a BBC program on Syria and it had a feature on Bakdash, a popular and very old ice cream parlour selling Arabic Bouza. At the end of the programme, they mentioned that Bakdash had to open a branch in Amman due to the growing turmoil in Syria.

I had to find it.

Admittedly, I didn't Google it straight away and when I finally did, realised I had no clue where the location was and in fact wasn't sure if it was popular enough in Amman to ask a cab driver to take me there. So it took me a few months to get there. And then even more months until I went back. 

However, we've now moved to an apartment that's about a 20 minute walk from the place so....yup, been there a few times in the last month :D Arabic bouza is different to normal ice cream in the way that it feels, (it's a bit rubbery do to the mastic...), tastes and is made. The ice cream is made in big blocks, which, after they freeze them*, are thrown into deep steel tubs and pounded by, what I would closely describe, as a massive wooden mallet [feel free to correct me on my vocab]. The block of ice cream turns into a paste and is then scooped up, thrown into a bed of pistachios and served. Yum-my.



Bakdash is such a great place to go with friends or family if you want some ice cream but don't fancy the usual. They do chocolate and strawberry ice creams too and I'm tempted to get an Arabic neapolitan next time I'm there!


*this is not a scientific analysis of how bouza is made, merely my observations, ahem ahem.

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